Staging Recovery

Staging Recovery is an ensemble of people with multiple and complex needs, exploring their individual and collective recovery journeys

The group had not met before May 2016, many had never experienced theatre or drama before and all were at various stages in their own recovery.  Yet, after 12 intensive weeks exploring different theatre techniques and other artforms, such as film and movement, they performed at Birmingham Repertory Theatre for a public audience.  Unlocked, devised and produced by the ensemble, incorporated all of their new found skills to tell the story of the journey they had been on throughout the course of the project.

Since then, the group have welcomed new members and created a number of pieces, using multiple arts forms and exploring universal themes such as family, choices and personal development.  Each time they meet, the group have around 12 sessions to work with new artists, improvise scenes and build the final piece.  In the last year, Staging Recovery have performed at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, ACE Dance studios and at the centenary celebration of Birmingham Voluntary Sector Council.  They also perform in community settings, such as Crisis UK and CGL Reach out Recovery.



This is what I’ve had to look forward to and has helped me with my recovery. I’ve met some amazing people and feel confident. I don’t feel trapped anymore, I feel positive. Instead of feeling nervous, embarrassed and scared I wake up happy. 

Sarah, Staging Recovery Member

The ensemble was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation's 'Sharing the Stage' fund until July 2017 and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation are generously funding a further 3 years of the project, which works with people with differing and complex needs.

It has helped me appreciate how much of a challenge it is (the process of recovery)

Opens your eyes to the vulnerability of people

Totally blew my mind, excellent performance 

Audience Responses to Unlocked

If you would like to find out more about Staging Recovery or discuss a referral, please email

Images © Ian Cuthbert